My photographic practices and other creative pursuits reflect my varied cultural interests and my social and political activism, my engagement with local and global concerns such as civil liberties and human rights, ecology, the environment, social justice, labour struggles and urban decay. My practice is also humanitarian, concerned and ethical.
Much of my multi-disciplinary photographic practice revolves around walking in a variety of rural and urban landscapes and I am a keen rambler and inspired by ecology, the environment and natural history. These pursuits are informed by the writings of the English naturalist Roger Deakin (“A Journey Through Trees”) and by G W Hoskins and his seminal work “The Making Of The English Landscape. I am inspired too by writers such as Robert McFarlane (“Wild Places”. “The Old Ways”.) and the land art of Hamish Fulton, David Nash, Andy Goldsworthy and Richard Long whose works and influences have led to my increasing interest in similar pursuits such as the creation of collage and sculpture from natural organic materials such as vegetables, leaves, tree bark and other organic materials.
I also create environmental portraits and have for some time been documenting the loss of habitat and environmental degradation within my local postcode (The B13 Project) and the seasonal and structural changes to my local park and my allotment site. (The Guinea Gardens) I am inspired too by the writings of Liz Wells whose works on visual culture, landscapes and identity (“Land Matters”) have informed my own practices, by photographers Fay Godwin and Marion Shoard who documented the English landscapes and its history of public and common land and championed rambler’s rights and by the epic works of photographer Sebastiao Salgado whose projects have addressed issues such as the dignity of manual labour ("Workers") and the planets disappearing wilderness. ("Genesis")
My photographic practices are also informed by my psycho-geography, my walking the city and my neighbourhood to document the impact of corporate development, the loss of public spaces and amenities and the impact of urban decay upon the cities communities and citizens. My psycho-geography is informed by the writings of Guy Debord and the International Situationists whose philosophies and practices influenced not only psycho-geography but new forms of cultural resistance such as culture jamming and bricolage, used so effectively by the Occupy Movement. My psycho-geography practices are also informed by writers such as Will Self, Ian Sinclair, (“London Orbital”) by Merlin Cleverly (“The Art of Wandering”) and by Rebecca Solnit. (“A Field Guide To Getting Lost)
23rd September 2011
The avant-garde. Dada. Walking. Sebastiao Salgado. Music. Poetry
This module aims to provide you with the opportunity to develop independently a body of fine art practice.
The module also aims to provide you with an understanding and awareness of the key contemporary theoretical and critical developments in theory relating to fine art, which you will elaborate theoretically and practically. The module will draw the theoretical problems of contemporary art closer to the work in the studio. Themes and issues to be discussed could be: the dissolution or dematerialization of the art object; the re-functioning of painting after the readymade; the deconstruction of the author and the notion of the collective author; and art and the notion of a counter-culture. Overarching these issues will be a more general discussion of the rise of postmodernism and the idea of the ‘end of the avant-garde’.
By the end of this module you should be able to:
LO1 Formulate and manage an advanced independent approach to your practice and be able to personally rationalise different concepts and ideas in order to develop strategies within your own practice, which you can realise within your work.
LO2 Develop and articulate a sophisticated understanding and knowledge of key contemporary theoretical issues in relation to fine art practice.
Practice-led studio seminars and debate will support your development of a body of fine art practice, focusing upon the practical relationship of your work to contemporary theoretical issues.
The lecture series will focus upon providing an advanced understanding of the key theoretical and critical concepts relating to contemporary fine art practices. The lectures will provide an understanding of the contemporary theoretical concepts and their developments providing you with a detailed and specific knowledge of contemporary theory and its relationship to current fine art practices.
This module will focus upon the developments within fine art theory and criticism that directly affect your own personal practice, presenting you with the contextual knowledge of your discipline and the ability to articulate the framework of your ideas, concepts and technical issues within your practice.
The final assessment will consist of two parts:
• Presentation of a body of fine art practice created during the module. • Essay submission in response to the lecture series that documents relevant theoretical issues and their impact upon contemporary practices.
12/4/14. I was in Barcelona last week exploring the issues around the Spanish Civil War and whilst visiting a local market was inspired to photograph a variety of abandoned dolls that were lying around on various stalls. These images led then to thoughts of the issues their presence created, for instance, each doll had a unique story, they all represented childhood, the loss of childhood, the loss of innocence and in particular the memories of childhood. Each doll had been abandoned by adulthood and each doll had a story of a particular past and an uncertain future, they were in addition in the process, possibly, of being recycled into new lives, new childhoods. This led to further thoughts of how the dolls might lead to a project on the things that adults keep from their childhood and the things they discard. There are social issues in such a project, such as gender, that I am not sure would fit into this brief and its remit for it could quickly turn into a sociology project.